Potential New Antibiotic Discovery
Bacteria you probably have in your nose might be able to treat antibiotic resistant super bugs!
A fascinating new study published in the journal Nature found that a bacterium present in nasal mucus could be used to develop an antibiotic against Staph infections. The good bacterium is called Saphylococcus lugdunensis and it produces antibiotic compounds that could soon be used in the fight against serious infections causing conditions like toxic shock syndrome, food poisoning and skin infections.
Remarkably this is the first time scientists have discovered bacteria naturally present in the human body that possess antibiotic features. Most antibiotics used today are made from bacteria or fungi that lives in soil. The new antibiotic has been named Lugdunin, and so far has shown the ability to destroy even antibiotic resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria that causes Staph infections.
In the study, researchers took nasal swabs from 187 hospitalized patients. They discovered that 30 percent of patients had S. aureus, and around 9 percent had S. lugdunensis (the good bacteria). So only a small percentage of people have this strain of bacteria in their nose. The researchers then isolated the antibiotic produced by the bacteria and tested it on mice who had Staph skin infections. The majority of the infections were cured. There are plans to carry out similar experiments on people.
This is a major breakthrough because antibiotics are becoming increasingly ineffective. Infections that were once easily and quickly treated with antibiotics are becoming harder and harder to eradicate. Of course it’s important to eat well and have a healthy lifestyle, in order to keep your immune system strong and reduce the risk of developing an infection in the first place. However, when used responsibly and appropriately, antibiotics are life saving drugs that we cannot do without.